Everytime a ship arrives at the pier
anywhere in the Philippines,
the Bajau people would approach the ship
right away without thinking of the danger.
They use wooden boats or banka
to get as close to the ship as possible
so they can easily beg from passengers
who are always curious of their lifestyle.
Most of the time,
they are seen as family members
together in this endeavor
with fathers, mothers and,
to our amazement, even little children.
The people throw coins down to the sea
where they have to swim quickly to catch them
before losing them to the bottom.
And remarkably enough,
they easily get the coins.
They rarely lose any of them.
They are very skillful swimmers who are not afraid
to dive deep just to grab the coins.
Some passengers maybe aware of their act of begging
as similar to those who are in the city streets
begging from passers-by,
but they don't seem to care at all.
Maybe because they are entertained
by the sight of them diving for the coins
and in just a second,
they get them all!
Getting the coins thrown at them is hard to do
especially in the sea where
they have to open their eyes while swimming
to see where the coins sink in such saltwater
that they don't care about getting irritation to their eyes.
But these people are known to be maritime or seaborne,
and that's why they are amazingly
skillful swimmers we know.
In the Philippines,
begging is prohibited because
it is against P.D. 1563 Mendicancy Law,
or simply put it,
an anti-begging law of 1978.
Even though people are annoyed by beggars,
there are still few handfuls of those
who have the hearts and guts even
to defy the law and give generously.
They never care at all.
They must have known all the time
that begging and beggars are always a part of society
and no matter what the government does
for the welfare of its people,
there will always be the poor and the needy
who can't get a job
and who can't get a decent living
and the only thing that will make them survive
is the act of begging.
These are stories about relationships between humans, animals or between humans and animals.